This is a bookable, serviced nine-bunk hut in the Christchurch Banks Peninsula area. Easy access from the Kaituna Valley means this hut is suitable for small children and family groups.
Seasonal restrictions: Packhorse Hut is on the Summit Walkway, which is closed for lambing from 8 August – 15 October each year. Year-round access to the hut is possible via the Packhorse Hut Track.
2 hours one way. Difficulty – Advanced
Te Ara Te Pataka – Summit Walkway
Enjoy magnificent views over Banks Peninsula, the Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps and Pacific Ocean on this tramp about an hours drive from Christchurch. It is 35kms one way. No dogs. TeAra Pataka/Summit Walkway links Gebbies Pass in the Lyttelton Crater to Hilltop in the Akaroa Crater. It follows a long high ridgeline that includes Mt Herbert/TeAhu Patiki, the highest point on Banks Peninsula. The track can be completed as a one-way walk most of the year (part of the track is closed during lambing). Return walks to Packhorse Hut via Kaituna Valley Road, and to Rod Donald Hut via Port Levy Saddle are possible year round. Read More
Difficulty – Advanced
Port Levy Saddle to Rod Donald Hut
Time: 50 min
Distance: 2.5 km
From Port Levy Saddle car park, cross Western Valley Road and follow the marked track along the ridgeline. Keep an eye out for markers – the track departs from the wider farm vehicle track from time to time. The side track to Rod Donald Hut is signposted at the distinctive stooped totara trees on Waipuna Saddle. The hut is a 25-minute (1km) walk off the main Summit Walkway track. Follow the marked farm track down through grassland, then turn and descend through gorse and regenerating natives. The Rod Donald Hut is on private land belonging to the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust and protected by a QEII covenant.
Mountain biking is allowedon this section.
Time: 10 min return to tōtara tree, 2 hr return to Rocky Peak.
Drive to Hilltop on the Akaroa Highway then turn along the Summit Road for 2kms to a small area at the side of the road where you can park. An outstanding feature of this reserve is a huge forked lowland tōtara which may be 2,000 years old and measures 8.5 metres around its trunk. The Totara Tree is approximately 10 minutes walk into the track. The track winds up steadily through forest and then north through open grasslands and regenerating bush. Good views are possible from this section of track, which then turns and climbs steeply up a gap in the bluffs over boulders. It reaches open tussock tops before eventually climbing onto ‘Rocky Peak’, with views of the peninsula and Akaroa Harbour.
This track is part of the longer Port Levy to Montgomery Park Scenic Reserve – Summit Walkway. Read more.
Te Oka Bay Reserve – Track to Te Oka and Tumbledown Bays
Please follow red markers and be aware of stock. From Little River drive up Kinloch Road to Bossu Road at the top of the hill – the road is narrow but tarsealed. At the T intersection at the top with Bossu Road is where you will find the start of the walk just to the right. Distance 6kms – walking time 1.5 hours downhill through Farmland and Bush to Te Oka Bay and Tumbledown Bay. It’s best to arrange a car to pick you up from the Beach otherwise it’s another 2.5 hours back up the hill to your car. There is a sign to say whether the track is open or closed. There is a private hut and cottage available to rent in Te Oka Bay.
Te Oka Bay Hut
Set on a working farm basic but comfortable.
Saddle Hill Scenic Reserve
3 hours return. A walk up to the look out through open grass land, which is lovely on a clear day. Go through the cattle shute and follow the fence line up to the top. Track is usually mown. There are amazing 360 degree views from the rocky out crop at the top. Get there from Little River from Kinloch Road, along Bossu Road past Reynolds Valley Road. Just on the start down you will see the Cattle Yards on the left. Parking on the right. Best on a clear day. Avoid going in low cloud.
1 hour return. Take track to left through bush then come back through the centre of the Peninsula on return. This is a sacred Maori site, please walk with respect and refrain from eating. There are interesting volcanic geological rocks and wonderful views over the harbour from the top. It once was the Site of a Maori Pa. Avoid at high tide. To get there, go to Duvauchelle Hotel. Either park there in the car park or take road past the wharf and park under the trees before the road turns to go around past the Sawmill.
Te Ara Patiki Covenant
2-3hour return. Walk from Kaituna Valley over private covenant land of regenerating native bush. The track follows the Kaituna Stream up to the Summit Road Walkway. The forests, scrublands and bluff communities on the TeAra Patiki Covenant represent the full range of plant communities that occupied Banks Peninsula before European arrival. In the future the landowners wish to provide an area close to Christchurch, with a wide variety of native plants and native birds for educational and recreational purposes. Access is a privilege on this private property. Please treat it with respect. NO DOGS ALLOWED. To get there, follow Kaituna Valley Road to the end of the road. Park at the Private Property Sign and walk on.